Mud and legs

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10 October 2019
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Hi
This is my first winter with my new horse, and want to get it right and prevent mud related issues.
I was applying neem oil to legs (once a week ish) to help slip the mud off, which seemed to work before but now its sort of crusty (oil build up, not scabs etc) and covered in mud, very muddy around the hay feeder up to her knees. Can I give her legs a good wash and start applying again, surely I can't reapply on top of the muddy legs, far to wet to just brush off? If you pull the hair apart it's white underneath so seems like it's doing its job in some places.
Any tips? I'll attempt to resize photos and add
Thanks
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Joined
10 October 2019
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Yes, rugged, has been her whole life, and it's not an option to stable, we are on a livery yard. Currently no problems but want to prevent the best I can. And we are only just starting winter lol
 

be positive

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I would wash and dry well then apply oil, I use pig oil as do many on here but have not heard of using neem oil for this purpose, if she is out 24/7 and the mud is already that bad I would be thinking of bringing in overnight if we don't get an improvement in the weather soon, mine are all still out on heavy clay but it is not deep anywhere so they have no mud other than bits where it goes on when they have a gallop about or a roll, the amount of mud on your horse would concern me as it has very little natural protection and in my experience that could be open to mud fever in the very near future unless you are extremely careful.
 
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I only used it as it was recommended, I have read pig oil is good as well, many years ago I used baby oil. It wasn't this bad until 2 days or so ago when we started using the hay feeder thats the only area high in mud.
 

Leo Walker

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I use baby oil. Pig oil and baby oil are both mineral oils. I wouldnt use neem, but only because it stinks! I oil mine with baby oil after washing. If there was any sort of build up I'd definitely wash and then towel dry and reapply.
 
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I use baby oil. Pig oil and baby oil are both mineral oils. I wouldnt use neem, but only because it stinks! I oil mine with baby oil after washing. If there was any sort of build up I'd definitely wash and then towel dry and reapply.
Thanks, I’ll switch to baby oil, neem although appears to have work somewhat does smell, and makes the leg look dirty even when it’s clean.
I think tomorrow I’ll give them a good wash, dry and reapply baby oil.
 
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My routine for my mud fever prone pony is once a week he gets his legs washed with medicated shampoo, towel dried and wicking wraps on, then legs get coated in pig oil once they are dry. I do this once a week and otherwise leave his legs alone and so far so good!
Thanks, so once a week leg wash shouldn’t cause any problems. Keep reading not to wash frequently but when they are bad I feel a wash is better than not.
Though I don’t have any medicated shampoo at the moment only a Lincoln one
 

NinjaPony

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I think constant wetting of the legs eg washing off every day can definitely make mud fever worse, as the legs don't get a chance to dry out. Once a week to remove muck/filth and re-coat with oil is fine as long as the legs are properly dried off. I'm using the Eqyss micro-tex shampoo but gallop medicated also does the trick. If you don't have any mud fever you might be alright with a normal shampoo.
 

Mister Ted

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6 August 2012
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Hi
This is my first winter with my new horse, and want to get it right and prevent mud related issues.
I was applying neem oil to legs (once a week ish) to help slip the mud off, which seemed to work before but now its sort of crusty (oil build up, not scabs etc) and covered in mud, very muddy around the hay feeder up to her knees. Can I give her legs a good wash and start applying again, surely I can't reapply on top of the muddy legs, far to wet to just brush off? If you pull the hair apart it's white underneath so seems like it's doing its job in some places.
Any tips? I'll attempt to resize photos and add
Thanks

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I would not use neem but a barrier cream specially for the problem.Theres loads on the market.You would be best starting from scratch and give the legs a wash in warm water and shampoo.Its difficult to remove, Iused it for sweet itch in the summer.Some people leave the mud to dry o/night when bringing their horse in and brushing it off in the morning and some hose legs before bringing them in dry them off as best as possible and apply a barrier cream in the morning when legs are nice and dry.
 
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Any Advise on the current situation please, concerned, maybe coincidence but on Sunday I brushed off mud (not washed) and applied baby oil, Monday I noticed her rear legs slightly swollen, livery yard said its probably because she's not moving much due to standing in the mud at the hay feeder all the time. Throughout the week I've brushed off and reapplied baby oil (legs look lovely and clean dispite the muddy field) but she's still slightly swollen on rear legs, could this be a reaction to the baby oil? Even though its only rear legs and skin not red etc, could it be mud fever (what I was trying to prevent with the oil) I can't feel any obvious scabs, just dried mud.
Also they stated she is foot sore (barefoot) , is it connected to the swelling/possible mud fever)
Totally worried about my girl obviously won't hesitate to get a vet out if needed, yard don't seem worried unlike me.
 

be positive

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It could be a reaction to the baby oil, possibly lack of movement is causing it and if she is footsore that will not be helping her to move about either, the yard sounds as if it is not really suitable for a horse living out 24/7 in the winter, it is good they feed plenty of hay but not if the ground is getting really deep around it and not enough grass available to encourage the horses to go and graze so they are stood in deep mud eating hay all the time, if there is not enough grazing the hay needs to be on hardstanding or moved regularly so they are not stood in mud all the time.

It is only early November I think you are going to be struggling to keep her legs healthy for the whole winter unless she can get out of the mud and also move about more freely, they are probably not really that concerned if this is how they are used to keeping their horses, so on one hand are keeping an eye out for possible issues on the other are not equipped to make changes if they are getting away with it most of the time.
It may not be a job for the vet yet but it may well be before the winter is over and if she does get mud fever standing knee deep by a hay feeder is not going to make it easy to treat, if there is no option to stable or change fields it may be useful to put feelers out for another yard nearby that can offer a better service.
 
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It could be a reaction to the baby oil, possibly lack of movement is causing it and if she is footsore that will not be helping her to move about either, the yard sounds as if it is not really suitable for a horse living out 24/7 in the winter, it is good they feed plenty of hay but not if the ground is getting really deep around it and not enough grass available to encourage the horses to go and graze so they are stood in deep mud eating hay all the time, if there is not enough grazing the hay needs to be on hardstanding or moved regularly so they are not stood in mud all the time.

It is only early November I think you are going to be struggling to keep her legs healthy for the whole winter unless she can get out of the mud and also move about more freely, they are probably not really that concerned if this is how they are used to keeping their horses, so on one hand are keeping an eye out for possible issues on the other are not equipped to make changes if they are getting away with it most of the time.
It may not be a job for the vet yet but it may well be before the winter is over and if she does get mud fever standing knee deep by a hay feeder is not going to make it easy to treat, if there is no option to stable or change fields it may be useful to put feelers out for another yard nearby that can offer a better service.
Thank you for your reply, around the hay feeder the mud has been scraped away with a tractor, so it’s no longer knee deep mud, so I’m happy about that. There is grass so it’s not like it’s nothing but mud I think she just prefers the Haylage that’s out.
I’m riding her today so I’ll see if she is foot sore, we’ve had this issue before but I believe it’s mostly due to the rocky track that she doesn’t like causing her to not want to go out riding, they suggest shoeing her but shes 12 and never had shoes so I’m reluctant to rush into that.
I’m also looking into changing her food to a healthier option. I’m looking at emerald green feeds instead of spillers happy hoof.
 

meleeka

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Neem oil tends to leave a build up. A friend put in on manes in the summer and it left a greasy mess. I’d use pig oil too (after a patch test) it just disappears over time so you don’t get the mess.

Now you’ve had the mud scraped off round the feeder is it possible to put something down to stop it ending up deep again? Even an old bit of carpet can work well.
 
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Update, she has mud fever. That's what's likely causing the swelling. I washed her legs in coatex shampoo (I happened to have it in the house) only then i found a few scabs. Rode her and she seemed perfectly fine on her feet (except for the stoney track out of the yard, she's hated that from day one) and on return the swelling had subsided. Put neem oil on legs as that's all I had. So now the battle begins with trying to get rid of it.
 
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During my first winter with my mare, she suddenly flared up with mud fever very badly. I tried a few remedies, but nothing was clearing it up. Eventually someone recommended a neem oil based product (mixed with a few other oils) and it was a lifesaver! It worked as both a treatment and a preventative. I didn't wash her legs; I would bring her in and let them dry out completely (I did have the benefit of a stable!) just a couple of times a week, brush the mud off, load on the oil and leave her legs be until the next treatment. Unfortunately the company I bought the mixture from appears not to be in business anymore, so this is the first time in the last four years that I haven't used it and bam - mud fever. I've got some neem oil on order now!
 

claret09

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i found muddy marvel wonrked well when my boy had a touch of mud fever some years ago. the do a descaber and on to protect legs in the field. give them ago
 

Bradsmum

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A previous horse had a bad case of mud fever and I used Aromaheel. You have to use it quite thickly to start with so that the scabs soften and lift off which took a few days but it cleared up pretty quickly and I just reapplied as a preventative measure. It has the added benefit that I love the smell :)
 
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Thank you for your replys,
I'm collecting quite a pharmacy, in the mail arring soon is aromaheel, muddy marvel descab and barrier, meddi mud, turnout boots, Already have sudocrem although a effective barrier its a nightmare to wash off, udder cream pig oil and sulphur and a few other bits.
My problem was whatever I applied was pointless as she was straight out into the mud but temperaly she's in a mud free area and because of that alone the swelling has lessened and I could apply udder cream to soften the scabs etc
Her front legs oddly are barely effected.
 
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My vet 'made' a mud fever cream for use by clients, it has some form of steroid in it. All I know is its very effective and it used to be good on the odd occassion when my mare got mud fever. Sometimes when my horse gets an itchy tail she will rub it raw so I apply the cream and rub it in and the next day she hasn't rubbed and then can go weeks without rubbing it again. I've also used it on fly bites over the summer and they were massively reduced in size the following day. Its very old and looks a funny colour but the ingredients are still very effective.

You can buy Keratex Mud Shield Powder that is like a fine talc to coat the horses legs and prevent mud fever. I was given a bottle but have since mislaid it. It is meant to be quite effective against wet as it provides a water resistant layer but I suppose it depends what kind of pasture you have. If there are long tall grasses and weeds they will rub against the leg and just knock it off.

In the dark and distant past when we only used to ride at the weekends a few of us on the yard used to use lard mixed with Flowers Of Sulphur from the garden centre. Mix and paste over the legs and wash off the following Saturday when we would ride and boot up. Re apply Sunday after riding ready for the week ahead. It was messy but it worked a treat.

I think this is where the name pig oil has originated from but I might be wrong.
 
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ohmissbrittany

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Counter-intuitive to most here... but less is more when it comes to mud and legs. I found this out by accident when my horse was on layup for a foot issue. I stopped constantly hosing/soaping.... and no crud! 😱 if you think about it, dermatologists say that washing your face too much makes acne worse- I think keeping the skin too dry and sterile harms the natural balance of "good bugs" and oils in the skin/fur and leaves them prone to infection.

Ive not used soap on anything but my horses tail (shes a mare and wees on it...) in about 4 years and *knock on wood* no mud fever or scratches or scurf! 95% of the time I leave the mud to dry and knock it off with a curry or my cactus cloth. Occasionally when I have a clinic after work I'll hose wet mud off (no time to dry) but I try to minimize it. And it seems to work.

I know that isnt reasonable for those with greys or coloured or chrome... but seriously less is more. Always ask if you HAVE TO shampoo those legs! The body defends itself if its allowed to!
 
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Counter-intuitive to most here... but less is more when it comes to mud and legs. I found this out by accident when my horse was on layup for a foot issue. I stopped constantly hosing/soaping.... and no crud! 😱 if you think about it, dermatologists say that washing your face too much makes acne worse- I think keeping the skin too dry and sterile harms the natural balance of "good bugs" and oils in the skin/fur and leaves them prone to infection.

Ive not used soap on anything but my horses tail (shes a mare and wees on it...) in about 4 years and *knock on wood* no mud fever or scratches or scurf! 95% of the time I leave the mud to dry and knock it off with a curry or my cactus cloth. Occasionally when I have a clinic after work I'll hose wet mud off (no time to dry) but I try to minimize it. And it seems to work.

I know that isnt reasonable for those with greys or coloured or chrome... but seriously less is more. Always ask if you HAVE TO shampoo those legs! The body defends itself if its allowed to!
Thanks, I do agree with what your are saying, and had she not developed mud fever I would never had bothered to wash her legs at all.
They are healing nicely now with meddi mud, washed once (with coatex not a drying shampoo) applied and turned out, I had no option to stable this was my biggest issue that she was constantly covered I thick mud, knee high by the feeder, But true to its word meddi mud had super staying power and I applied every few days (over the mud so as not to wash again) washed only 3 times, once a week, scabs have all but lifted and coming off. I'm thrilled with the product. I've got lots of products I don't need now lol
We are moving soon and the new place has near zero mud.
 

Auslander

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Interesting re the meddimud. I've been using it for the last two winters, on a horse who usually has at least one vicious and unprovoked attack of mud fever every year. Touch wood, he's been ok since I started using it as a barrier, and it seems to have swiftly sorted any minor scabs before they exploded. It drives me mad that I don't know what the magic pink ingredient is, but I can live with the mental torture as long as it keeps working!
 
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Interesting re the meddimud. I've been using it for the last two winters, on a horse who usually has at least one vicious and unprovoked attack of mud fever every year. Touch wood, he's been ok since I started using it as a barrier, and it seems to have swiftly sorted any minor scabs before they exploded. It drives me mad that I don't know what the magic pink ingredient is, but I can live with the mental torture as long as it keeps working!
I was a little sceptical because it didn't really smell of much, just a thick oil type. But it is fantastic, I'm ordering more and I think I'll use it as at barrier to prevent as well. I think it'll last better as a barrier because I won't apply as much as i did on the mud fever, I plastered it on lol.
I didn't need to try all the other recommended products I purchased at the same time.
Normally I do like to know the ingredients but like you I'll put up with not knowing as long as it works.
 

fusspot

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I have never heard of Meddimud but just looked it up.I have a big coloured mare with white hair and pink skin.She has had mud fever in the past so was wondering if anybody has used it as a preventative.She is in at night so was wondering if she had her legs washed off and dried,can it then be applied before going out the next day to prevent the mud fever.
 

Auslander

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I have never heard of Meddimud but just looked it up.I have a big coloured mare with white hair and pink skin.She has had mud fever in the past so was wondering if anybody has used it as a preventative.She is in at night so was wondering if she had her legs washed off and dried,can it then be applied before going out the next day to prevent the mud fever.
I use it as a preventative. i squirt it on his legs once a week without washing/drying. It takes the mud off as it slides down the leg, and keeps them greasy for at least a week. I reapply when I notice the mud starting to stick to his legs again. I avoid washing and drying with all my might
 

fusspot

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I use it as a preventative. i squirt it on his legs once a week without washing/drying. It takes the mud off as it slides down the leg, and keeps them greasy for at least a week. I reapply when I notice the mud starting to stick to his legs again. I avoid washing and drying with all my might
That’s great Thankyou,wasn’t sure if best to wash or leave and just apply.She gets it more around heels and fetlocks so will give it a go.Thankyou.
 
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Update, she has mud fever. That's what's likely causing the swelling. I washed her legs in coatex shampoo (I happened to have it in the house) only then i found a few scabs. Rode her and she seemed perfectly fine on her feet (except for the stoney track out of the yard, she's hated that from day one) and on return the swelling had subsided. Put neem oil on legs as that's all I had. So now the battle begins with trying to get rid of it.
Neem oil is a fantastic product irrespective of whether it causes a build up or not. A build up is easy to fix. Mud fever not so easy with no stable. I use neem oil for several things like preventing mud fever, repelling feather mites, healing wounds, switch itch, mallenders. I've a cob and I cant praise neem oil enough. It's very very very rare for a horse to be allergic to neem oil but baby oil and pig oil are both widely known to cause allergic reactions. I'd stick to what is working if I was you. Neem has so many amazing qualities including being anti inflammatory antifungal antibacterial antiseptic. It's interesting that your mare only showed signs of mud fever when u stopped using the neem oil. I do agree that you maybe need to find a yard that isn't happy to let horses stand knee deep in muck 24/7 though. Unfortunately a lot of yards are happy to let horses live in undesirable conditions as long as the owners keep quiet and are paying their livery bills. A good indicator is whether the yard owners horses are allowed to be kept in this manner. If not I'd be thinking about confronting them about the issue or changing yard. Best of luck with your mare.
 
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